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Act of Appreciation

Today, I’m really excited to publish this blog post written by my good friend Ana. I asked her to be a guest blogger on my blog and I’m glad she sent me something to post. I really love what she wrote, here it is!


Hello everyone. My name is Ana, from Serendipity Flakes (and Disney and Sparkle) and I’m so excited to be guest blogging for Nicole. She’s a dear friend and even though we rarely see each other we do communicate frequently and have a great time whenever we do see each other (did I mention I helped her boyfriend plan the day he would meet her parents? – I met him in college and Nicks through Twitter at the time.) Anyways, now that you know that, when Nicole and I ran into each other a couple of weeks ago and got to talking about blogging she encouraged be to start writing again (which I did/am) and invited me to write about anything on her blog.

Boy was that tough. So many topics!! Psychology? Food? Travel? Dachshunds? My favorite socks? Why are pigs tails’ curly? – I finally chose appreciation as my topic and I hope to make this short.

Today I Am Thankful

A couple of days ago I wrote on my blog how grateful I am for various things in my life and I wanted to continue sharing that line of thinking. I recently read an old issue of O magazine that I inherited from a neighbor and found a quote from Oprah Winfrey that enlightened me. For this holiday season I share with you the following: “What I know for sure: Any act of appreciation affirms our connection to each other. Validates us. Expands who we are in the world. Deepens our spirit. And can turn an ordinary moment into any extraordinary peachy and praiseful day.” ((Winfrey, Oprah. “What I Know For Sure.” O: The Oprah Magazine. 2009: 232. Print.))

We all go through experiences, good and bad, that change us. 2013 seems completely different from 2012 even though day-to-day sometimes we think nothing is changing. Good things happened, like making amazing friends and traveling with my hubby, and not-so-great ones did, like making very difficult and life-changing financial decisions. But at the end of the day it has taught be to be so grateful for the non-material gifts that I have around me, the love of my family, hubby, friends and of course those four-legged children of mine. A simple smile means more than buying someone dinner, offering to listen to them over a cup of tea at home might be just what they need. During the holiday season we tend to get caught up in materialism, “I need 4 gifts for Sue.” “Bobby wants a new iPad.” “I can’t spend only $10 on Amy, what will she think if she finds out?”. The list could go on, so here are 5 (things? Tips?) to turn the holiday season into an act of appreciation.

  1. Spend a day with a loved one – no technology. Leave your phone at home or turn it off. Spend time talking with that person, you’ll survive not checking-in at Starbucks for the 20th time. Talk while you wait, people watch, talk about your past, share funny or embarrassing stories and treasure that moment. Life slips away from us and we don’t take time to slow down and just talk. Appreciate undistracted time with that person.
  2. Wake up an hour earlier a couple of days a week and appreciate being alive, have a cup of tea or coffee and gently sip it for a while. Think of your dreams for the next year, what you want to work on. Count your blessings. Appreciate who you are before even starting of your day.
  3. Make DIY treats. Bake with someone you care about, fight over them stealing chocolate chips or sprinkles. Instead of just buying a box of cookies or chocolates and giving them as a gift invite someone over and have a baking party. Appreciate being able to create great memories with friends and family that will last forever.
  4. Donate. I chose St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. It doesn’t have to be a lot, even $5 helps any organization and you’ll be left with the amazing feeling that you made a small contribution to a good cause. Appreciate the feeling of giving back; know that any organization/entity’s day is made when they receive even the smallest of donations. We must give back to our community.
  5. Appreciate what you already have. Don’t focus on what you need or want. Sure, a few details here and there are nice. But the real meaning of the season is being with loved ones, so be thankful for what you have and turn this holiday season into one focused on appreciating the little things, non-material values, a giggle, taking a silly picture, fighting over the last cookie or creating small DIY gifts. Make every moment count; we never know when anything can change.

I hope y’all enjoyed my post. Have an amazing day and wonderful holiday season.

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iTunes GC Giveaway: Winner’s Post

The $15 iTunes gift card giveaway winner, Eliza, sent me a blog post talking about what she bought with the gift card, it’s worth the read. Thank you Eliza for sending this to me!

Hello everyone,

First and foremost a very special thanks to Nicole, once again, for holding the $15 iTunes gift card giveaway. I know that the winner was chosen via random.org so I can’t thank her for selecting me personally but yes for holding the contest and for allowing us to enter more than once. Thanks Nicky.

I entered the contest hoping to win to buy a psychology book on iBooks (I start psychology graduate school in August) and that was the first thing I purchased but surprisingly I’m most excited about the other book I bought, I had $7 on my current iTunes account and with the $15 gift card I was able to complete the amount and purchase two books. So here’s what I purchased:

50 Psychology Classics First, 50 Psychology Classics: Who we are, How we think, what we do by Tom Butler-Bowdon. I have yet to begin reading this one but I did download the sample and read the description beforehand and what drew my attention to it (I had originally planned to purchase Gillian Butler’s Psychology). I love that this book holds empirically supported information about many aspects of psychology that include general, developmental and abnormal among others; all in one eBook. There are many theories, humanist and cognitive emphasis as well as theoretics like Jung, Freud and Kinsley amongst others. I can’t wait to start this one, I have a feeling it’ll be great.

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?Second, Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the daughter of narcissistic mothers by Karly McBride, PhD. I’m OBSESSED with this book (yes, I yelled obsessed). I have a very, very rocky relationship with my mother and this book although it hasn’t solved many issues since it’s difficult due to the fact that I still live at home and my mother is a firm non-believer of therapists (ironic isn’t it?) it has helped me understand a lot in a very short amount of time. I’ve been able to identify many characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder in her (please don’t tell on me). It explains that there are my different types of NPD’s and that just because a mother possibly has one it doesn’t mean that she’s a bad mother or means bad with you but that you have to understand where she’s coming from and that in most cases it won’t be about you but rather a manifestation of her personal issues through you and your defects mostly. Anyways, I won’t spoil it for anyone but I am so very thankful I’ve come across this book, just 145 pages to go and I’m done.

Here’s the math for the cost of the books:
50 Psychology Classics: $9.99
Will I Ever be Good Enough?: $11.99
Total: $21.98
iTunes credit before $15 Gift Card: $7.77
NicoleJeanette.me’s giveaway: $15.00

Thank you once again for holding the contest Nicky. If I ever get a personal blog up and going this will be a good inspiration to mine.

– Eliza